CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

Chapman, George, trans. (1559?–1634).  The Odysseys of Homer, vol. 1.  1857.


THE SIXTH BOOK OF HOMER'S ODYSSEYS.

THE ARGUMENT.

MINERVA in a vision stands
Before Nausicaa; and commands
She to the flood her weeds should bear,
For now her nuptial day was near.
Nausicaa her charge obeys,
And then with other virgins plays.
Their sports make wak'd Ulysses rise,
Walk to them, and beseech supplies
Of food and clothes. His naked sight
Puts th' other maids, afraid, to flight;
Nausicaa only boldly stays,
And gladly his desire obeys.
He, furnished with her favours shown,
Attends her and the rest to town.

ANOTHER ARGUMENT.

.... Here olive leaves
T' hide shame began.
The maid receives
The naked man.


HE much-sustaining, patient, heavenly man,
      Whom Toil and Sleep had worn so weak and wan,
      Thus won his rest. In mean space Pallas went
      To the Phaeacian city, and descent
      That first did broad Hyperia's lands divide,                     5
      Near the vast Cyclops, men of monstrous pride,
      That prey'd on those Hyperians, since they were
      Of greater power; and therefore longer there
      Divine Nausithous dwelt not, but arose,
      And did for Scheria all his powers dispose,                     10
      Far from ingenious art-inventing men;
      But there did he erect a city then,
      First drew a wall round, then he houses builds,
      And then a temple to the Gods, the fields
      Lastly dividing. But he, stoop'd by Fate,                       15
      Div'd to th' infernals; and Alcinous sate
      In his command, a man the Gods did teach
      Commanding counsels. His house held the reach
      Of grey Minerva's project, to provide
      That great-soul'd Ithacus might be supplied                     20
      With all things fitting his return. She went
      Up to the chamber, where the fair descent
      Of great Alcinous slept; a maid, whose parts
      In wit and beauty wore divine deserts.
      Well deck'd her chamber was; of which the door                  25
      Did seem to lighten, such a gloss it bore
      Betwixt the posts, and now flew ope to find
      The Goddess entry. Like a puft of wind
      She reach'd the virgin bed; near which there lay
      Two maids, to whom the Graces did convey                        30
      Figure and manners. But above the head
      Of bright Nausicaa did Pallas tread
      The subtle air, and put the person on
      Of Dymas' daughter, from comparison
      Exempt in business naval. Like his seed                         35
      Minerva look'd now; whom one year did breed
      With bright Nausicaa, and who had gain'd
      Grace in her love, yet on her thus complain'd:
        "Nausicaa! Why bred thy mother one
      So negligent in rites so stood upon                             40
      By other virgins? Thy fair garments lie
      Neglected by thee, yet thy nuptials nigh;
      When rich in all attire both thou shouldst be,
      And garments give to others honouring thee,
      That lead thee to the temple. Thy good name                     45
      Grows amongst men for these things; they inflame
      Father and reverend mother with delight.
      Come, when the Day takes any wink from Night,
      Let's to the river, and repurify
      Thy wedding garments. My society                                50
      Shall freely serve thee for thy speedier aid,
      Because thou shalt no more stand on the maid.
      The best of all Phaeacia woo thy grace,
      Where thou wert bred, and owest thyself a race.
      Up, and stir up to thee thy honour'd sire,                      55
      To give thee mules and coach, thee and thy tire,
      Veils, girdles, mantles, early to the flood,
      To bear in state. It suits thy high-born blood,
      And far more fits thee, than to foot so far,
      For far from town thou knowst the bath-founts are."             60
        This said, away blue-eyed Minerva went
      Up to Olympus, the firm continent
      That bears in endless being the Deified kind,
      That's neither soused with showers, nor shook with wind,
      Nor chill'd with snow, but where Serenity flies                 65
      Exempt from clouds, and ever-beamy skies
      Circle the glittering hill, and all their days
      Give the delights of blessed Deity praise.
      And hither Pallas flew, and left the maid,
      When she had all that might excite her said.                    70
      Straight rose the lovely Morn, that up did raise
      Fair-veil'd Nausicaa, whose dream her praise
      To admiration took; who no time spent
      To give the rapture of her vision vent
      To her lov'd parents, whom she found within.                    75
      Her mother set at fire, who had to spin
      A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shin'd;
      Her maids about her. But she chanced to find
      Her father going abroad, to council call'd
      By his grave Senate. And to him exhaled                         80
      Her smother'd bosom was: "Lov'd sire," said she,
      "Will you not now command a coach for me,
      Stately and complete, fit for me to bear
      To wash at flood the weeds I cannot wear
      Before repurified? Yourself it fits                             85
      To wear fair weeds, as every man that sits
      In place of council. And five sons you have,
      Two wed, three bachelors, that must be brave
      In every day's shift, that they may go dance;
      For these three last with these things must advance             90
      Their states in marriage, and who else but I,
      Their sister, should their dancing rites supply?"
        This general cause she show'd, and would not name
      Her mind of nuptials to her sire, for shame.
      He understood her yet, and thus replied:                        95
      "Daughter! nor these, nor any grace beside,
      I either will deny thee, or defer,
      Mules, nor a coach, of state and circular,
      Fitting at all parts. Go, my servants shall
      Serve thy desires, and thy command in all."                    100
        The servants then commanded soon obey'd,
      Fetch'd coach, and mules join'd in it. Then the Maid
      Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid
      All up in coach; in which her mother plac'd
      A maund of victuals, varied well in taste,                     105
      And other junkets. Wine she likewise fill'd
      Within a goat-skin bottle, and distill'd
      Sweet and moist oil into a golden cruse,
      Both for her daughter's, and her handmaid's, use,
      To soften their bright bodies, when they rose                  110
      Cleans'd from their cold baths. Up to coach then goes
      Th' observed Maid, takes both the scourge and reins,
      And to her side her handmaid straight attains.
      Nor these alone, but other virgins, grac'd
      The nuptial chariot. The whole bevy plac'd,                    115
      Nausicaa scourg'd to make the coach-mules run,
      That neigh'd, and pac'd their usual speed, and soon 
      Both maids and weeds brought to the river side,
      Where baths for all the year their use supplied,
      Whose waters were so pure they would not stain,                120
      But still ran fair forth, and did more remain
      Apt to purge stains, for that purg'd stain within,
      Which by the water's pure store was not seen.
        These, here arriv'd, the mules uncoach'd, and drave
      Up to the gulfy river's shore, that gave                       125
      Sweet grass to them. The maids from coach then took
      Their clothes, and steep'd them in the sable brook;
      Then put them into springs, and trod them clean
      With cleanly feet; adventuring wagers then,
      Who should have soonest and most cleanly done.                 130
      When having throughly cleans'd, they spread them on
      The flood's shore, all in order. And then, where
      The waves the pebbles wash'd, and ground was clear,
      They bath'd themselves, and all with glittering oil
      Smooth'd their white skins; refreshing then their toil         135
      With pleasant dinner, by the river's side;
      Yet still watch'd when the sun their clothes had dried.
      Till which time, having dined, Nausicaa
      With other virgins did at stool-ball play,
      Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by.                  140
      Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory,
      The liking stroke struck, singing first a song,
      As custom order'd, and amidst the throng
      Made such a show, and so past all was seen,
      As when the chaste-born, arrow-loving, Queen,                  145
      Along the mountains gliding, either over
      Spartan Taygetus, whose tops far discover,
      Or Eurymanthus, in the wild boar's chace,
      Or swift-hoved hart, and with her Jove's fair race,
      The field Nymphs, sporting; amongst whom, to see               150
      How far Diana had priority,
      Though all were fair, for fairness yet of all,
      As both by head and forehead being more tall,
      Latona triumph'd, since the dullest sight
      Might eas'ly judge whom her pains brought to light;            155
      Nausicaa so, whom never husband tamed,
      Above them all in all the beauties flamed.
      But when they now made homewards, and array'd,
      Ordering their weeds disorder'd as they play'd,
      Mules and coach ready, then Minerva thought                    160
      What means to wake Ulysses might be wrought,
      That he might see this lovely-sighted maid,
      Whom she intended should become his aid,
      Bring him to town, and his return advance.
      Her mean was this, though thought a stool-ball chance:         165
      The queen now, for the upstroke, struck the ball
      Quite wide off th' other maids, and made it fall
      Amidst the whirlpools. At which out shriek'd all,
      And with the shriek did wise Ulysses wake;
      Who, sitting up, was doubtful who should make                  170
      That sudden outcry, and in mind thus striv'd:
      "On what a people am I now arriv'd?
      At civil hospitable men, that fear
      The Gods? Or dwell injurious mortals here?
      Unjust, and churlish? Like the female cry                      175
      Of youth it sounds. What are they? Nymphs bred high
      On tops of hills, or in the founts of floods,
      In herby marshes, or in leafy woods?
      Or are they high-spoke men I now am near?
      I'll prove, and see." With this, the wary peer                 180
      Crept forth the thicket, and an olive bough
      Broke with his broad hand, which he did bestow
      In covert of his nakedness, and then
      Put hasty head out. Look how from his den
      A mountain lion looks, that, all embrued                       185
      With drops of trees, and weather-beaten hued,
      Bold of his strength, goes on, and in his eye
      A burning furnace glows, all bent to prey
      On sheep, or oxen, or the upland hart,
      His belly charging him, and he must part                       190
      Stakes with the herdsman in his beast's attempt,
      Even where from rape their strengths are most exempt;
      So wet, so weather-beat, so stung with need,
      Even to the home-fields of the country's breed
      Ulysses was to force forth his access,                         195
      Though merely naked; and his sight did press
      The eyes of soft-hair'd virgins. Horrid was
      His rough appearance to them; the hard pass
      He had at sea stuck by him. All in flight
      The virgins scatter'd, frighted with this sight,               200
      About the prominent windings of the flood.
      All but Nausicaa fled; but she fast stood,
      Pallas had put a boldness in her breast,
      And in her fair limbs tender fear compress'd.
      And still she stood him, as resolv'd to know                   205
      What man he was, or out of what should grow
      His strange repair to them. And here was he
      Put to his wisdom; if her virgin knee
      He should be bold, but kneeling, to embrace;
      Or keep aloof, and try with words of grace,                    210
      In humblest suppliance, if he might obtain
      Some cover for his nakedness, and gain
      Her grace to show and guide him to the town.
      The last he best thought, to be worth his own,
      In weighing both well; to keep still aloof,                    215
      And give with soft words his desires their proof,
      Lest, pressing so near as to touch her knee,
      He might incense her maiden modesty.
      This fair and fil'd speech then shew'd this was he:
        "Let me beseech, O queen, this truth of thee,                220
      Are you of mortal, or the deified, race?
      If of the Gods, that th' ample heavens embrace,
      I can resemble you to none above
      So near as to the chaste-born birth of Jove,
      The beamy Cynthia. Her you full present,                       225
      In grace of every God-like lineament,
      Her goodly magnitude, and all th' address
      You promise of her very perfectness.
      If sprung of humans, that inhabit earth,
      Thrice blest are both the authors of your birth,               230
      Thrice blest your brothers, that in your deserts
      Must, even to rapture, bear delighted hearts,
      To see, so like the first trim of a tree,
      Your form adorn a dance. But most blest he,
      Of all that breathe, that hath the gift t' engage              235
      Your bright neck in the yoke of marriage,
      And deck his house with your commanding merit.
      I have not seen a man of so much spirit,
      Nor man, nor woman, I did ever see,
      At all parts equal to the parts in thee.                       240
      T' enjoy your sight, doth admiration seize
      My eyes, and apprehensive faculties.
      Lately in Delos (with a charge of men
      Arrived, that render'd me most wretched then,
      Now making me thus naked) I beheld                             245
      The burthen of a palm, whose issue swell'd
      About Apollo's fane, and that put on
      A grace like thee; for Earth had never none
      Of all her sylvan issue so adorn'd.
      Into amaze my very soul was turn'd,                            250
      To give it observation; as now thee
      To view, O virgin, a stupidity
      Past admiration strikes me, join'd with fear
      To do a suppliant's due, and press so near,
      As to embrace thy knees. Nor is it strange,                    255
      For one of fresh and firmest spirit would change
      T' embrace so bright an object. But, for me,
      A cruel habit of calamity
      Prepared the strong impression thou hast made;
      For this last day did fly night's twentieth shade              260
      Since I, at length, escap'd the sable seas;
      When in the mean time th' unrelenting prease
      Of waves and stern storms toss'd me up and down,
      From th' isle Ogygia. And now God hath thrown
      My wrack on this shore, that perhaps I may                     265
      My miseries vary here; for yet their stay,
      I fear, Heaven hath not order'd, though, before
      These late afflictions, it hath lent me store.
      O queen, deign pity then, since first to you
      My fate importunes my distress to vow.                         270
      No other dame, nor man, that this Earth own,
      And neighbour city, I have seen or known.
      The town then show me; give my nakedness
      Some shroud to shelter it, if to these seas
      Linen or woollen you have brought to cleanse.                  275
      God give you, in requital, all th' amends
      Your heart can wish, a husband, family,
      And good agreement. Nought beneath the sky
      More sweet, more worthy is, than firm consent
      Of man and wife in household government.                       280
      It joys their wishers well, their enemies wounds,
      But to themselves the special good redounds."
        She answer'd: "Stranger! I discern in thee
      Nor sloth, nor folly, reigns; and yet I see
      Th' art poor and wretched. In which I conclude,                285
      That industry nor wisdom make endued
      Men with those gifts that make them best to th' eye;
      Jove only orders man's felicity.
      To good and bad his pleasure fashions still
      The whole proportion of their good and ill.                    290
      And he perhaps hath form'd this plight in thee,
      Of which thou must be patient, as he free.
      But after all thy wand'rings, since thy way,
      Both to our earth, and near our city, lay,
      As being expos'd to our cares to relieve,                      295
      Weeds, and what else a human hand should give
      To one so suppliant and tamed with woe,
      Thou shalt not want. Our city I will show,
      And tell our people's name: This neighbour town,
      And all this kingdom, the Phaeacians own.                      300
      And (since thou seem'dst so fain to know my birth,
      And mad'st a question, if of heaven or earth,)
      This earth hath bred me; and my father's name
      Alcinous is, that in the power and frame
      Of this isle's rule is supereminent."                          305
        Thus, passing him, she to the virgins went,
      And said: "Give stay both to your feet and fright.
      Why thus disperse ye for a man's mere sight?
      Esteem you him a Cyclop, that long since
      Made use to prey upon our citizens?                            310
      This man no moist man is, (nor wat'rish thing,
      That's ever flitting, ever ravishing
      All it can compass; and, like it, doth range
      In rape of women, never stay'd in change)
      This man is truly manly, wise, and stay'd,                     315
      In soul more rich the more to sense decay'd,
      Who nor will do, nor suffer to be done,
      Acts lewd and abject; nor can such a one
      Greet the Phaeacians with a mind envious,
      Dear to the Gods they are, and he is pious.                    320
      Besides, divided from the world we are,
      The out-part of it, billows circular
      The sea revolving round about our shore;
      Nor is there any man that enters more
      Than our own countrymen, with what is brought                  325
      From other countries. This man, minding nought
      But his relief, a poor unhappy wretch,
      Wrack'd here, and hath no other land to fetch,
      Him now we must provide for. From Jove come
      All strangers, and the needy of a home,                        330
      Who any gift, though ne'er so small it be,
      Esteem as great, and take it gratefully.
      And therefore, virgins, give the stranger food,
      And wine; and see ye bathe him in the flood,
      Near to some shore to shelter most inclin'd.                   335
      'To cold bath bathers hurtful is the wind,'
      Not only rugged making th' outward skin,
      But by his thin powers pierceth parts within.
        This said, their flight in a return they set,
      And did Ulysses with all grace entreat,                        340
      Show'd him a shore, wind-proof, and full of shade,
      By him a shirt and utter mantle laid,
      A golden jug of liquid oil did add,
      Bad wash, and all things as Nausicaa bad.
        Divine Ulysses would not use their aid;                      345
      But thus bespake them: "Every lovely maid,
      Let me entreat to stand a little by,
      That I, alone, the fresh flood may apply
      To cleanse my bosom of the sea-wrought brine,
      And then use oil, which long time did not shine                350
      On my poor shoulders. I'll not wash in sight
      Of fair-hair'd maidens. I should blush outright,
      To bathe all bare by such a virgin light."
        They moved, and mused a man had so much grace,
      And told their mistress what a man he was.                     355
        He cleans'd his broad soil'd shoulders, back, and head,
      Yet never tam'd, but now had foam and weed
      Knit in the fair curls. Which dissolv'd, and he
      Slick'd all with sweet oil, the sweet charity
      The untouch'd virgin show'd in his attire                      360
      He cloth'd him with. Then Pallas put a fire,
      More than before, into his sparkling eyes,
      His late soil set off with his soon fresh guise.
      His locks, cleans'd, curl'd the more, and match'd, in power
      To please an eye, the hyacinthian flower.                      365
      And as a workman, that can well combine
      Silver and gold, and make both strive to shine,
      As being by Vulcan, and Minerva too,
      Taught how far either may be urg'd to go
      In strife of eminence, when work sets forth                    370
      A worthy soul to bodies of such worth,
      No thought reproving th' act, in any place,
      Nor Art no debt to Nature's liveliest grace;
      So Pallas wrought in him a grace as great
      From head to shoulders, and ashore did seat                    375
      His goodly presence. To which such a guise
      He show'd in going, that it ravish'd eyes.
      All which continued, as he sat apart,
      Nausicaa's eye struck wonder through her heart,
      Who thus bespake her consorts: "Hear me, you                   380
      Fair-wristed virgins! This rare man, I know,
      Treads not our country earth, against the will
      Of some God, throned on the Olympian hill.
      He show'd to me, till now, not worth the note,
      But now he looks as he had godhead got.                        385
      I would to heaven my husband were no worse,
      And would be call'd no better, but the course
      Of other husbands pleas'd to dwell out here.
      Observe and serve him with our utmost cheer."
        She said; they heard, and did. He drunk and eat              390
      Like to a harpy, having touch'd no meat
      A long before time. But Nausicaa now
      Thought of the more grace she did lately vow,
      Had horse to chariot join'd, and up she rose,
      Up cheer'd her guest, and said: "Guest, now dispose            395
      Yourself for town, that I may let you see
      My father's court, where all the peers will be
      Of our Phaeacian state. At all parts, then,
      Observe to whom and what place y' are t' attain;
      Though I need usher you with no advice,                        400
      Since I suppose you absolutely wise.
      While we the fields pass, and men's labours there,
      So long, in these maids' guides, directly bear
      Upon my chariot (I must go before
      For cause that after comes, to which this more                 405
      Be my induction) you shall then soon end
      Your way to town, whose towers you see ascend
      To such a steepness. On whose either side
      A fair port stands, to which is nothing wide
      An enterer's passage; on whose both hands ride                 410
      Ships in fair harbours; which once past, you win
      The goodly market-place (that circles in
      A fane to Neptune, built of curious stone,
      And passing ample) where munition,
      Gables, and masts, men make, and polish'd oars;                415
      For the Phaeacians are not conquerors
      By bows nor quivers; oars, masts, ships they are
      With which they plough the sea, and wage their war.
      And now the cause comes why I lead the way,
      Not taking you to coach: The men, that sway                    420
      In work of those tools that so fit our state,
      Are rude mechanicals, that rare and late
      Work in the market-place; and those are they
      Whose bitter tongues I shun, who straight would say,
      (For these vile vulgars are extremely proud,                   425
      And foully-languag'd) 'What is he, allowed
      To coach it with Nausicaa, so large set,
      And fairly fashion'd? Where were these two met?
      He shall be sure her husband. She hath been
      Gadding in some place, and, of foreign men                     430
      Fitting her fancy, kindly brought him home
      In her own ship. He must, of force, be come
      From some far region; we have no such man.
      It may be, praying hard, when her heart ran
      On some wish'd husband, out of heaven some God                 435
      Dropp'd in her lap; and there lies she at road
      Her complete life time. But, in sooth, if she,
      Ranging abroad, a husband, such as he
      Whom now we saw, laid hand on, she was wise,
      For none of all our nobles are of prize                        440
      Enough for her; he must beyond sea come,
      That wins her high mind, and will have her home.
      Of our peers many have importuned her,
      Yet she will none.' Thus these folks will confer
      Behind my back; or, meeting, to my face                        445
      The foul-mouth rout dare put home this disgrace.
      And this would be reproaches to my fame,
      For, even myself just anger would inflame,
      If any other virgin I should see,
      Her parents living, keep the company                           450
      Of any man to any end of love,
      Till open nuptials should her act approve.
      And therefore hear me, guest, and take such way,
      That you yourself may compass, in your stay,
      Your quick deduction by my father's grace,                     455
      And means to reach the root of all your race.
        We shall, not far out of our way to town,
      A never-fell'd grove find, that poplars crown,
      To Pallas sacred, where a fountain flows,
      And round about the grove a meadow grows,                      460
      In which my father holds a manor house,
      Deck'd all with orchards, green, and odorous,
      As far from town as one may hear a shout.
      There stay, and rest your foot-pains, till full out
      We reach the city; where, when you may guess                   465
      We are arriv'd, and enter our access
      Within my father's court, then put you on
      For our Phaeacian state, where, to be shown
      My father's house, desire. Each infant there
      Can bring you to it; and yourself will clear                   470
      Distinguish it from others, for no shows
      The city buildings make compar'd with those
      That king Alcinous' seat doth celebrate.
      In whose roofs, and the court (where men of state,
      And suitors sit and stay) when you shall hide,                 475
      Straight pass it, ent'ring further, where abide
      My mother, with her withdrawn housewiferies,
      Who still sits in the fire-shine, and applies
      Her rock, all purple, and of pompous show,
      Her chair plac'd 'gainst a pillar, all a-row                   480
      Her maids behind her set; and to her here
      My father's dining throne looks, seated where
      He pours his choice of wine in, like a God.
      This view once past, for th' end of your abode,
      Address suit to my mother, that her mean                       485
      May make the day of your redition seen,
      And you may frolic straight, though far away
      You are in distance from your wished stay.
      For, if she once be won to wish you well,
      Your hope may instantly your passport seal,                    490
      And thenceforth sure abide to see your friends,
      Fair house, and all to which your heart contends."
        This said, she used her shining scourge, and lash'd
      Her mules, that soon the shore left where she wash'd,
      And, knowing well the way, their pace was fleet,               495
      And thick they gather'd up their nimble feet.
      Which yet she temper'd so, and used her scourge
      With so much skill, as not to over-urge
      The foot behind, and make them straggle so
      From close society. Firm together go                           500
      Ulysses and her maids. And now the sun
      Sunk to the waters, when they all had won
      The never-fell'd, and sound-exciting, wood,
      Sacred to Pallas; where the god-like good
      Ulysses rested, and to Pallas pray'd:                          505
        "Hear me, of goat-kept Jove th' unconquer'd Maid!
      Now throughly hear me, since, in all the time
      Of all my wrack, my prayers could never climb
      Thy far-off ears; when noiseful Neptune toss'd
      Upon his watry bristles my emboss'd                            510
      And rock-torn body. Hear yet now, and deign
      I may of the Phaeacian state obtain
      Pity, and grace." Thus pray'd he, and she heard,
      By no means yet, exposed to sight, appear'd,
      For fear t' offend her uncle, the supreme                      515
      Of all the Sea-Gods, whose wrath still extreme
      Stood to Ulysses, and would never cease,
      Till with his country shore he crown'd his peace.

         FINIS LIBRI SEXTI HOM. ODYSS.


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


 
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